Guest Post: Beth D. Carter

A Cover Says it All

The first thing that draws our eye is beauty. And beauty is everywhere; the color and texture to a painting, the sun setting in the horizon, a favorite actor or actress, and in simple things like the smile of a child or the sparkle of a diamond ring. Is it no wonder, then, that the cover of a book must be absolutely perfect to set apart from the competition and draw the buyer’s eye?

I will admit I have bought a book solely on the cover. The book I bought was Forbidden by Evangeline Anderson. It was about two angels sent to earth and the cover blew me away when I first saw it. Luckily, it was a wonderful story, so I didn’t have to suffer with buyers remorse.

Now-a-days, with the cost of books (even ebooks), a story has to take full advantage of every strategy to grab the readers’ attention. The cover has to incorporate a lot detail, so it’s very important that the cover artist bears in mind not only the story, but the artist themselves. Most publishers won’t consider that far, only content with producing a sexy look to market the book. I think I’ve been very fortunate that the two publishers I’ve worked with have actually listened to my ideas, my feelings, because the work I’ve produced is not just a thing to me, it’s alive. I’ve breathed life and soul into each story, and I appreciate the artists who take the time to listen what I envision.

For my novel, Kismet, I had pictured ‘green’. Toward the end of the book, when the hero, Kris, and the heroine, Evie, are declaring their love, they are locked in a passionate embrace deep in the Louisiana Bayou. So I told that vision to the artist and she came up with a truly beautiful cover.

There are certain covers that jump out at a reader and proclaim “Buy me now!” I went to Lissa Matthews bookshelf and my jaw hit the floor. Have you seen her covers? OMG! I think my favorite is Artic Shift. What a powerful cover with the blown out white and hungry looking man.

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Even in the digital evolution of e-books emerging, a cover is one of the most important aspects of giving personality to the story. It guides the reader into seeing the hero and heroine, bringing them to life and adding depth to the drama unfolding. All of which is needed for that brief time where the reader escapes into fantasy.

-Beth D. Carter

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